An approach to reduce the flow requirement for a liquid piston near-isothermal air compressor/expander in a compressed air energy storage system

Perry Y. Li, Mohsen Saadat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A compressed air energy storage system that uses a high pressure, isothermal air compressor/expander (C/E) has no carbon emission and is more efficient than a conventional system that uses fossil fuels. To be successful, the compressor/expander must be efficient and has high power density. However, there is a trade-off between efficiency and power density due to heat transfer. The authors' previous work has shown that by optimising the compression/expansion trajectories in a liquid piston C/E, the power density can be improved by many times without sacrificing efficiency. Yet, to achieve the optimised trajectory, this requires a large liquid piston pump/motor that often operates at low displacement, low efficiency regime. This study proposes that by combining the liquid piston with a solid piston actuated via a hydraulic intensifier, the pump/motor size can be reduced significantly. A case study shows that with an optimal intensifier ratio, the pump/motor size is reduced by 85%, the ratio between maximum and minimum displacements is reduced by 7 times, and the mean efficiency is increased by 2.4 times. A full cycle dynamic simulation shows that the intensifier decreases, for the same pump/motor size, the total cycle time for over 50%, thus doubling the power density of the compressor/expander.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1506-1514
Number of pages9
JournalIET Renewable Power Generation
Volume10
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

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Pistons
Compressors
Liquids
Pumps
Trajectories
Reciprocating pumps
Fossil fuels
Compaction
Hydraulics
Heat transfer
Carbon
Compressed air energy storage
Computer simulation

Cite this

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abstract = "A compressed air energy storage system that uses a high pressure, isothermal air compressor/expander (C/E) has no carbon emission and is more efficient than a conventional system that uses fossil fuels. To be successful, the compressor/expander must be efficient and has high power density. However, there is a trade-off between efficiency and power density due to heat transfer. The authors' previous work has shown that by optimising the compression/expansion trajectories in a liquid piston C/E, the power density can be improved by many times without sacrificing efficiency. Yet, to achieve the optimised trajectory, this requires a large liquid piston pump/motor that often operates at low displacement, low efficiency regime. This study proposes that by combining the liquid piston with a solid piston actuated via a hydraulic intensifier, the pump/motor size can be reduced significantly. A case study shows that with an optimal intensifier ratio, the pump/motor size is reduced by 85{\%}, the ratio between maximum and minimum displacements is reduced by 7 times, and the mean efficiency is increased by 2.4 times. A full cycle dynamic simulation shows that the intensifier decreases, for the same pump/motor size, the total cycle time for over 50{\%}, thus doubling the power density of the compressor/expander.",
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